In terms of famous Canadian femmes who left a lasting impression on our youth, Shania Twain is pretty much the queen. From her snazzy country ditties to her soulful love songs, this superstar didn’t just teach us to believe in ourselves; she also helped us invoke our feminist powers within.
We’ll get to see a lot more of that empowering approach to love, music and life when Twain joins upcoming Canadian series The Launch as a mentor beginning Jan. 10 (9 p.m. ET on CTV). But until then, here are just some of the many life lessons we learned from Shania while belting out her smash hits in the shower, car and everywhere else in between.
1. Embrace yourself
“I feel like a woman!”
Twain’s biggest hit, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!,” has also become a mantra of womanhood in general. With its catchy beat and uplifting message, girls (and women) everywhere not only embrace being a woman with this song, but they also embrace singing about it at the top of their lungs.
2. Look towards the future
“From this moment, as long as I live, I will love you, I promise you this…”
Sure, at the outset it seems like “From This Moment On” is a regular old love song, but what we love most about it is that it taught us to forget the past, live in the present and dream of a bright and shiny future.
3. Enjoy the trip
“We mighta took the long way, we knew we’d get there someday.”
Life is a journey, not a destination — right? No one seems to hit that theme better than Twain with her lyrics in yet another smash hit, “Looks Like We Made It.”
4. Don’t let shiny things fool you
“That won’t keep me warm in the middle of the night. That don’t impress me much.”
There’s so much to love about “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” but our biggest takeaway comes from the title lyrics themselves: expect more for yourself, and don’t let grandeur and flashiness fool you. Because really, there’s more to life (and a great relationship) than that.
5. Things can’t get worse
“There’s no way but up from here.”
Twain’s “Up!” might not be one of her flashier hits, but heck if it doesn’t carry a ton of positive messaging. This song reminds us that even when things seem impossible, this too shall pass.
6. Expect more from your partner
“You’ve got a way it seems, you gave me faith to find my dreams.”
This ballad about the perfect partner in “You’ve Got a Way” isn’t just soulful and catchy; it’s got a really nice message behind it too: find someone who complements you, not completes you. And that’s when love really gets good.
7. It’s okay to feel hurt
“Don’t think I’m lyin’ ‘round cryin’ at night, there’s no need to worry, I’m really all right.”
There’s no denying that breakups suck, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose all of your dignity in the middle of your awful pain. Twain reminded us of that with “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing,” by mixing positive statements with the not-so-subtle reminder that of course your feelings are valid. Wallow a little, just not a whole lot.
8. Decide what you want
“Don’t wantcha for the weekend, don’t wantcha for a night, I’m only interested if I can have you for life.”
Find what you want and go after it without any compromises — especially when it comes to your own standards. That’s the ultimate lesson from Twain’s “I’m Gonna Getcha Good,” which just also happens to be yet another super-catchy tune.
9. Enjoy your own secrets
“I’ll tell him someday some way somehow, but I’m gonna keep it a secret for now.”
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little secret to yourself, especially when it comes to a crush. And while there’s something to be said for making your feelings known, it can also be a good idea to sit back, think things through and see how it all plays out. Thanks to Twain’s “No One Needs to Know,” we’re all reminded of that important life lesson.
10. Look beyond the initial attraction
“Any man of mine better be proud of me, even when I’m ugly he still better love me.”
Love is more than a mutual attraction, and once the glitter of a new relationship wears off, anyone worth your time is someone who will stick around through thick and thin. That’s what we believe Twain was singing about in “Any Man of Mine,” and we totally co-sign.
11. Don’t put up with jealous people
“I get so aggravated when I get off the phone, and I get the third degree. I’m really feelin’ frustrated, why don’t you take a pill and put a little trust in me.”
Sure, it might be nice when a partner shows a little jealousy; it suggests that they care about you after all. But how they react to that jealousy (and how far they take it) also says a lot. As Twain sang in “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You),” the jealous act gets old, fast. And no partner who tries to control you with those feelings is worth it in the end.
12. Believe in yourself
“I’d rather die standing, than live on my knees.”
This song about abuse sucker punched us over and over again as we listened to the lyrics, but “Black Eyes, Blue Tears” contains a universal message for all of us: stand strong, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone treat you like dirt. You’re worth way more than that.
13. Take the bad with the good
“Life’s about joy, life’s about pain. It’s all about forgiving and the will to walk away.”
Life isn’t all a bed of roses—sometimes it can suck. But, as Twain sings in “Life’s About to Get Good,” you have to take the bad with the good, and trust in yourself that things will eventually get better.
14. Switch things up
“Get a life, get a grip. Get away somewhere, take a trip. Take a break, take control. Take advice from someone you know.”
Sometimes you just need to take charge of your own destiny, as Twain sang about in “Come on Over.” Whether that means blowing Dodge or just sitting down for a good old chat session with a bestie, this is one we can totally get behind.
15. Expect equality
“Honey, I’m home and I had a hard day, pour me a cold one and oh, by the way, rub my feet, gimme something to eat. Fix me up my favourite treat.”
For so long females were expected to make males feel better when they got home after a terrible day at work. So listening to Twain expect the same treatment in “Honey I’m Home” was positively eye-opening. Why shouldn’t it be a two-way street?
16. Embrace what you have
“Don’t let the green grass fool you, don’t let the moon get to you.”
Sometimes when something is going really, really well, we have an inclination to get bored. But as Twain reminds us all in “Dance With the One that Brought You,” sometimes it can be beneficial to sit back and appreciate what you already have.
17. Trust your gut
“If elephants could fly I’d be a little more optimistic, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I don’t mean to sound so pessimistic, but I don’t think that cow really jumped over the moon.”
We’re all for being Pollyanna and positive, but like Twain sings about in “When,” sometimes we just have to use our own judgement and ground ourselves in reality. It’s there that some of the best things in life actually happen.
Just ask Twain, as she continues to rock it.